Operational Programme 'North Sweden'

Programme under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 16 August 2007, the European Commission approved a Regional Operational Programme for the region of Övre Norrland (Norrbotten and Västerbotten) in Sweden for the 2007-13 period. The Operational Programme falls within the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective framework and has a total budget of around €485 million. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €243 million, which represents approximately 12.9% of the total EU investment for Sweden under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The overall purpose of the Operational Programme is to contribute to a long-term sustainable economic growth by strengthening regional competitiveness and reinforcing the region's position as an innovative and successful area within Europe. The Programme aims to create 3000 new businesses and 8000 new jobs for men and women. It will focus on improving the conditions for entrepreneurship, new businesses, innovation and will also develop a long-term sustainable transport system and IT-infrastructure. An important aspect of the Programme is to improve living conditions and attractiveness of the region. Furthermore, the Programme foresees actions for interregional cooperation.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme is expected to create 8000 new jobs and 3000 new businesses. Some 400 companies will participate in international cooperation and 15 projects will safeguard the environment and cultural heritage. Interventions will work also for a sustainable transport system for goods and people. Cold climate testing and space exploration are other areas expected to grow, together with the use of bio-fuel and other environmental techniques. The Programme provides for 50 projects connecting industry, research institutes and the public sector.

3. Priorities

The Regional Operational Programme for North Sweden is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Innovation and renewal [approximately 73.0% of total funding]

The stimulation of entrepreneurship and business creation together with co-operation between the academia, industry and the public sector are at the heart of the priority which has four sub-priorities.

1. Entrepreneurship and creation of new businesses. The emphasis will be on creating the right conditions for creativity, innovation and new businesses. A well functioning credit market is a prerequisite with possibilities for loan and equity financing.

2. Innovative environment. The emphasis is to build on earlier success in cooperation between academia, industry and the public sector particular directed toward small and medium enterprises.

3. International co-operation. Co-operation with international partners to benefit researchers and SMEs.

4. Regional attractiveness. The emphasis is on development of activities based on nature, culture and cultural heritage.

Priority 2: Accessibility [approximately 23.0% of total funding]

The long term goal is to develop a sustainable transport system and a sustainable IT infrastructure. Key objectives are accessibility of work opportunities, services and culture. There are three sub-priorities.

1. Co-operation between different modes of transport. For the region to be attractive there is a need of effective and environmentally sound transport systems and inter-modal transport solutions and terminals as well as finding new transport solutions with effective chains using different kinds of transport types.

2. Regional enlargement. The objective is to develop safe and effective passenger transport systems which can increase the acceptable commuting distance. Large railway projects along the coast are a high priority.

3. Information and Communication technology – ICT. The objective is to secure a long term sustainable IT-infrastructure with good accessibility by providing competition neutral communication networks.

Priority 3: Technical assistance [approximately 4.0% of total funding]

The aim is to support the management, monitoring and evaluation of the operational programme, and the associated communication and publicity activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'North Sweden'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Innovation and renewal 177 125 070 177 125 070 354 250 140
Accessibilité 55 806 529 55 806 529 111 613 058
Technical assistance 9 705 483 9 705 483 19 410 966
Total 242 637 082 242 637 082 485 274 164